Assimilate or Differentiate? Contributors’ Choice of Subjects in User-Generated Content

Zhihong Ke, De Liu, Alok Gupta, Daniel Joseph Brass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A key to the content diversity on user-generated content platforms is what subject users choose to contribute on. This research investigates how two factors can shape contributors’ subject choice decisions, namely, the amount of existing content and content contributed by online friends or “friend content.” Our experimental findings show that both the amount of existing content and friend content can shape a contributor's subject choice decisions: ceteris paribus, contributors prefer subjects with less existing content and ones with friend content when the amount of existing content is the same. In addition, contributors’ preference for subjects with friend content weakens as the amount of existing content on other subject's decreases. Our findings hold important implications for research and practice in user-generated content platforms and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1287
Number of pages23
JournalDecision Sciences
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • Assimilation
  • Differentiation
  • Social Network Friends
  • Subject Choices
  • User-Generated Content

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